The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) investigates claims of child abuse or neglect made to its hotline (800) 25-ABUSE.
Some hotline calls result in juvenile court cases and children are removed from their parents’ care. When children are removed, the court can place the child in DCFS guardianship or with a relative in private guardianship.
Learn more about DCFS investigations.
DCFS as guardian
For a DCFS guardianship, the court names a DCFS official as the guardian for the child. DCFS then has the right to place the child in the home of a foster parent or relative caretaker. The child can be placed directly by DCFS or through a private agency. For a child in DCFS guardianship, placement with a relative can occur in the following cases:
- The relative can be a licensed foster parent. A foster parent must follow DCFS regulations before and after placement of a child; or
- A relative can become a “relative caretaker.” Relative caretakers do not need to be licensed. They must meet certain safety requirements and follow DCFS rules.
Both relative caretakers and foster parents are supervised by DCFS or a private agency. This means the agency has the right to move the child. In these cases, the foster parent or relative caretaker has the right to appeal the decision. The appeal must begin within a limited time period.
For more information, contact DCFS.